Former Rep. Pete Hoesktra (R-MI) appeared Monday afternoon on Fox News, to defend his controversial TV ad by his Senate campaign, which played in Michigan during the Super Bowl — and featured an Asian-American actress speaking in broken English, to thank incumbent Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow for spending and borrowing money from China.
“Your economy get very weak,” the woman said in the ad. “Ours get very good. We take your jobs.”
Megyn Kelly asked Hoekstra about objections from Asian-American groups, who say the Hoekstra campaign is stirring up anti-Asian sentiments and stereotypes. But Hoekstra stood firm.
“The only group of people that this ad is ‘anti-’ — its anti-Debbie Stabenow, it’s anti-Barack Obama, the spending policies of the liberal left. You’ll notice that the ad points to the opportunities that America’s dumb economic policies — deficit spending, trillion dollars of deficits, trillions and trillions of debt — it creates the opportunities for countries like China and others to take advantage of our weakness. it weakens the U.S. economy, and it strengthens our competitors.
Kelly then asked about objections from the ad’s opponents, who have said that the ad’s use of broken English stirred up old-time stereotypes about a lack of intelligence in other races.
“Well It’s not a stereotype at all. This is a — you know, through the creative — this is a young woman in China who is speaking English. That’s quite an achievement,” said Hoekstra. “You know, what these folks and what others are angry about, they’re angry about the message, that we are actually confronting the Democrats and Debbie Stabenow on the failed policies that have resulted in eight and a half, nine percent unemployment in the United States. Read on...
And here's more from Marcy Wheeler -- Pete Hoekstra Mocks His Asian-American Neighbors:
When I first saw Crazy Pete Hoekstra’s racist ad, I thought the woman in it–who is supposed to depict a Chinese woman who speaks English well–looked more Thai or Laotian than Han Chinese. And while Hoekstra claims that her parents are “100% Chinese” there are unconfirmed reports that the actress is actually Laotian-American.
Which would be particularly galling, given that Hoekstra’s home town has a significant population of Laotian-Americans (note, Holland Township is basically the northern suburbs of Holland city). [...]
Hoekstra’s ad was bigoted and wrong in any case. But it turns out he may have been making fun not of a distant Asian community in California or China, but his neighbors and former constituents in Holland.
If Hoekstra can’t even figure out that his neighbors are good Americans, then he’s not the guy to be fighting to defend the American Dream.
And from The Maddow Blog -- Pete Hoekstra's viral bait:
Featuring a young Asian woman who thanks Stabenow for borrowing so much money from Asia and sending jobs overseas, Hoekstra's ad jams an incredible number of stereotypes into just 30 seconds -- from the bicycle to the rice paddies to the accent.
The ad is classic viral bait, in which the repellant doubles as the attraction. Hoekstra's ad sends viewers to the DebbieSpendItNow.com, screengrabbed above. The site credits the Prosper Group, whose client list includes Christine O'Donnell, Sharron Angle, the Wisconsin GOP and Scott Brown. You want the vanilla site? OK. You want the crazy? Just send the check. Hoekstra's spot is gross, certainly, but it's also sadly usual.
You've got to love Hoekstra's defense of the ad to Megyn Kelly during the interview. Lou Dobbs said it's not racist... so there you go. Guess that settles that. These Republicans aren't even bothering with dog whistles any more. They've turned to blow horns instead, because there is absolutely nothing subtle about their tactics.